Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Serious assaults in NZ disturbingly high: Otago research

OU Media Release

EMBARGOED until 1201am Friday 12 October 2012

Serious assaults in NZ disturbingly high: Otago research

University of Otago researchers have found that serious assaults in New Zealand have been steadily rising and are now at disturbingly high levels, especially among young males, Maori and Pacific people, and those from deprived neighbourhoods.

Lead author Emeritus Professor John Langley, of the University of Otago’s Injury Prevention Research Unit, says this new study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ) today (Friday), is the first comprehensive statistical analysis of this category of violence in over two decades.

It throws into serious doubt judicial and Police statistical claims in recent years that New Zealand is becoming a less violent society.

“It also brings into focus the need for the Government to effectively tackle the alcohol issue if it wants to significantly reduce serious assaults,” he says.

Professor Langley, and University of Otago co-author Dr Pauline Gulliver, found that in New Zealand between 2000 and 2009 there were 8006 serious non-fatal assaults – 76% of these were male victims (6335). The female serious assaults totalled 1671.

Averaged out, the annual rate of serious assault is around 800 (79% of these males) a year – which is roughly two-thirds of the same serious injury category for road crashes.

To be included in the “serious assault” category, the victim had a 6% or worse chance of dying as result of their injuries.

Among women, the serious assault level had fluctuated up and down over the nine-year period, but for males, particularly in the 15-to-24 age group, the numbers had risen particularly dramatically between 2004 and 2009.

Bodily force was the most common method of injury (nearly half of the serious assault cases for women, and 45% of the male cases), followed by use of a blunt object. The third most prominent cause of serious injury was a sharp object or knife.

By far the majority of serious assaults for males (1397) where the location of the event was known occurred on the streets and highways, closely followed by the male’s home (1188), followed by a trade or service area (583). For females, the majority of serious assaults, 855, took place in the home, with 156 on the streets and 58 in a trade or service area. Head injury accounted for 72.6% of all serous non-fatal injuries, and the 8006 incidents required a total of 35, 186 hospital bed-days.

Maori accounted for almost half (48%) of female serious non-fatal assaults, and one-third (32%) of males in the same category. Pacific Island people also featured prominently among the male victim statistics, having a rate only slightly lower than Maori males. The study also showed that if you lived in a deprived household or neighbourhood, your risk of serious assault was much higher.

“This study provides new and recent insights into serious non-fatal assaultive hospitalisations. The trends we have observed are concerning, especially since there is no evidence of any recent abatement. This raises questions about our efforts to reduce such harm,” he writes in the NZMJ.

The last study to examine non-fatal assault was published in 1995, and looked at assaults resulting from hospital admission between 1979 and 1988. That study also identified males, particularly Maori, as being of elevated risk of assault, with bodily force the most common method of injury.

Professor Langley points out that a large proportion of serious assaults involve young to middle-age males assaulting similarly aged males. Despite this, historically the prevention focus has been on domestic violence.

“While this mismatch between the burden and prevention is starting to be addressed, I question the adequacy of our prevention responses,” he says.

Excessive alcohol consumption is a common causal factor in many assault incidents. Professor Langley argues there is sufficient evidence base which shows that reduced alcohol advertising, and higher taxes on alcohol are likely to have a significant and relatively rapid effect on assaults. He is concerned that the Government has so far indicated it does not intend pursuing these strategies.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news